M 3k F01 3k | 2010 Liege Meet on Flotrack
Last night, I raced in a 3000m in Liege, Belgium. Liege is about 90 min southeast of Hulst near the German and French border. It is much more hilly than the land in and around Hulst where I am staying. The track is perched at the top of one of these hills. There was a beautiful view from the warmup field that is carefully terraced into the hillside. I arrived at the meet with plenty of time and went behind the stadium to catch some shade and hang out before it was time to warmup. Several other American runners were also here so it was nice to catch up and hang out with some people from back home.
The race went out very quickly as there were several top level Kenyans hoping to run seasonal as well as personal bests. The 3000m is a bit of an 'off-distance' because it is not run at major, national or international competitions. More frequently this distance takes the form of the steeplechase. Runners who choose to stick to the flat races enjoy the rare chance to run this distance.
I stuck in the back with the American pack and waited until about 600m to pick it up. Perhaps I was a bit careful, but I was pleased with my finish. I would have liked to have run faster but a big portion of this trip is focused on becoming a better racer and finisher. I did not execute that well in Brasschaat but felt that I bounced back two days later with a solid effort in the 3k. Although, I must admit it leaves me wanting more but that is not a bad thing because I still have at least one more race in Belfast, UK on July 24. (1 mile)
The overall experience of this race was great. The atmosphere was electric - the place was packed and people were on their feet almost the entire time. You could tell it was a social gathering, they played music (lots of techno and american top 40) during the races. Beer and snacks were served. If I didn't know better I would have thought I was at a baseball or football game back in the states.